You are preparing for a job interview. You have created the perfect resume and cover letter. You have provided all the references from previous jobs and you are reviewing your prepared answers for potential interview questions…but have you ever Googled yourself? A lot of employers do a little online research before they meet interview candidates…
The internet contains a huge variety of information and it could have a notable impact on a candidate’s reputation. People often simply forget about their “online resumes” - that information which can be easily found on the internet. Active users of social media networks should be particularly careful about privacy and avoiding indecent content so that they are not relegated from the recruitment process.
Here are 6 tips to help you manage your online reputation
1. Be careful with posting
If you use social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, do not post inappropriate content like photos from parties or other personal activities, which you would like to hide from any current or future employer. The same applies to unprofessional and vulgar tweets. Although you may think that your posts are set up only for viewing by your friends, there may be changes in privacy settings by the network administrators, so you should regularly check your settings to be sure. In addition to ensuring you have the right privacy settings selected, some users on Twitter are also careful to include a disclaimer in their bio, stating that their views are their own and not reflective of their employer. This gives employers peace of mind that the user will not post harmful or offensive content that would be linked back to the company.
2. Research information in advance
Google your name before applying for a job position so that you will have enough time to convert available online content to reflect you in a positive (or at least neutral) way. In the best case, potential employers may find interesting work related information about you, like projects you used to work on. An updated LinkedIn profile can leave a good first impression and introduce you as a hard-working, committed employee.
3. Look through more than 1 page of results
Most people do not bother to click on more than one page of search results- the old adage is that page 2 of Google is where stories go to die. However, in the case of some relevant keywords, those hidden results can slowly proceed to the front. It's helpful to ensure you're looking through multiple pages to see if there is any new or recently emerged content pertaining to you.
4. Own primer results
LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter are taken as preferable and authoritative, so primarily you are able to find results from such as social networks.
5. Optimize your LinkedIn profile
The LinkedIn network is the most visited social media website not only for people actively searching for a job, but also for recruiters who are researching candidates. Put keywords into your profile to clearly explain what you do and what kind of opportunity you are interested in. Even more helpful is to add your nametag at the end of your profile - after a forward slash (e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/JoeBloggs).
6. Take negatives with grace
Is there still some information about you online which you cannot remove? No worries. If asked about it at an interview be open and honest, and try to prepare a measured response.